Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/160

This page needs to be proofread.


��A SHIPWRECK OFF SLAINS CASTLE.

��rocks, mingling their melancholy cries with the dashing of the waves. The dark waters were surging through the narrow chasms formed by rocky islets and the steep sides of the cliffs. For the storm-tost sailor it is a dreadful coast. On a wild night in winter not man)' years ago one of the maids, as she was letting clown the blinds in the drawing-room, heard confused sounds which came, she thought, from the servants' hall beneath. The butler in another part of the house had caught them too. Yet when they reproached their fellow-servants with their noisiness they were told that it was not from them that the sounds had come. They thought no more

���SLAINS CASTLE.

��about it that night, but next morning when the day broke the masts were seen of a ship-wrecked vessel on the rocks below the Castle. The waves were breaking over it, and not a soul was left alive. Then they understood that it was the despairing cries of the unhappy sailors which had in vain reached their ears. The story, that was told me as I stood looking out on the sea, gave an air of sadness to a room which had already raised sad thoughts in my mind. For on the wall was hanging the portrait of an innocent and pretty boy who, before so many years were to pass over him, on the scaffold on Tower Hill was to pay the penalty of rebellion with his

life.

" Pitied by gentle minds Kilmarnock died."

�� �� �